24hrs door to door as we flew from manchester via dubai, the transfer time of 2hrs from airport to hotel seems excessive, but understandable once you witness sri lankan roads!
greeted with flower garland and refreshing drink, before being shown to our junior suite. our first impressions were the hotel was beautiful and the suite was lovely, however i was slightly aggrevied to later discover the bedding was stained and that the cleanliness was not what i would usually associate with a first class hotel as described by kuoni.
the staff are friendly and the hotel complex is well laid out and very pretty. food is great and we always found something to our choosing.
we took trips with santar the beach boy, which we arranged on the second day, so didn't get too much hassle off the other beach boys, although i did witness that they can be a bit of the pain in the arse if your not firm with them. the beach is not owned by the hotel, so they lurk all day at the ropes that seperate the hotel from the beach.
we went to the turtle sanctuary and did a little shopping on our first trip and then booked a 2 day overnight trip to kandy. a fraction of the price charged by the tour operator and also provided a great deal more freedom to choose the places you want to visit.
whether its a tuk tuk ride into town or a trip away, always agree the price before you set off, we did hear some horror stories from others whilst we were there.
i consider myself and my partner to be well travelled and we are always pretty generous in terms of tipping, but the expectations in sri lanka took a bit of the shine from our holiday. from arrival at the airport and throughout the duration of our stay it felt as if we were expected to tip continuously. i know that comparitively wages are low and i am all for showing appreciation, but on a couple of occassions i was gobsmacked to offer a tip only to be told "i'm sorry that's not enough"!
i think the presumtion is that because we can afford to travel we must be loaded, there seems to be no acknowledgement that actually i have saved up bloody hard for a year to be able to afford to have such a holiday.
also, prices when buying things such as souveniers can be a complete and utter rip off, so buyer beware and don't feel obliged or rude to say no or at least haggle!
considering it was monsoon season, the weather was great, although the sea was far too rough to swim in and due to the beach boys and flotsom and jetsom, we weren't really able to walk on the beach.
on our second to last day, a fire alarm sounded at about 4am, so were up and made our way to the assembly point, but i was distrurbed to discover that the nearest exit from our room was padlocked and at no time did any staff member come and tell us what was going on or indeed inform us of when it was safe to return to the room.
if you have booked to go to the kani lanka, don't be put off by my review, we did have a good time, it just didn't really meet our full expectations.
to finish here's a hint if you intend to phone home regularly as i did.. buy a local dialog sim card for your mobile with credit (the beach boys can help with this). the sim costs about 600 rupees (£3) and a five minute call back to the uk cost me on average about 100 rupees (approx 50p).
would we travel to sri lanka again? probably not. it is a beautiful country and on the whole the people are happy and friendly, but having been home for a couple of days now, my lasting impressions are that i'm glad i went, but next year will return to the carribean!
- Also Known As:
- AVANI Kalutara Resort Sri Lanka
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Breathe in that fresh sea air and feel the warmth of the sun against your skin. Before you, lies the ocean; behind you, the Kalu Ganga river, twisting almost 100 miles back to Sri Pada, the sacred mountain believed to be the footprint of the Buddha. Where the river meets the ocean, you'll find AVANI Kalutara Resort, and discover a place where your dreams of an island paradise come true.. This hotel was formely known as Kani Lanka Resort & Spa. Skim the white waves of the Indian Ocean on board a traditional fishing boat, or watch the sunlight glitter on the water as you kayak along the riverside... it's almost like you're paddling through diamonds. Later, draw close to the warmth of the beach-side fire and share stories of another incredible day. Savour every bite of that juicy fresh seafood and enjoy a sunset that's beautiful beyond belief... ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Tingo, Hotels.com and Venere so you can book your AVANI Kalutara Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.